Re: From economic growth to food security and better nutrition

Final Year Economics Students (group 4)

To continue or contribution to the discussion, here is our take on the third question posed:

How can we mobilize the political will necessary to put policies for hunger reduction and improved nutrition higher on the list of political priorities?

To mobilize political will, there must be an adoption into national strategy, the intended goals of improving key areas such as hunger and poverty reduction. If national strategies, in terms of the development goals of a nation, are geared towards the alleviation of hunger and poverty - symptoms of the underprivileged in society - at a broad level, then there can be significant assurance of policy implementation to favor the goal of hunger reduction.

Governments have at their disposal, the shared knowledge of the various policies (and their shortcomings) that can be implemented in tandem with agricultural policies based on the objectives of food security and food entitlement. Economic growth in less developed countries can be achieved, for example, using the basic agricultural policies (price policy, marketing policy, credit policy, mechanization policy, land reform policy, research policy and irrigation policy), that intend to improve welfare at a broad level. However, these policies must also be married to the goals of improving nutrition, especially for the underpriveleged. The 'traditional' measures of nutrition indicate very ephemerally, the standard of nutrition that is prevalent in populations under study. Simple caloric intake measures  do not suggest overall improvement in nutrition. It therefore follows that the deliverables of the broader agricultural programs, should include improvements in wider measures of nutritional intake. 'Agricultural policy' and 'nutrition policy' need to be interchangeable terms in the strategic outlook and rhetoric of policy makers.